Eng Shang Hon - Army
At the age of 24, Eng Shang Hon (aka Ng Seong Hon and Eng Seong Hong) immigrated to the United States as a paper son in April 1937. He lived in Chicago and worked as a waiter and bartender at the Golden Pheasant Restaurant. Although he was the first person drafted in World War II from Chicago in 1940 (as holder of Draft Number 158), he did not enlist in the Army until December 1943. Landing at Omaha Beach in July 1944, one month after the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, Eng Shang Hon and the 134th Infantry Regiment (part of the 35th Division) fought from Normandy, through Belgium and the Netherlands, to Hannover, Germany. In recognition of his distinguished military service as a Private First Class, Eng Shang Hon was awarded a Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, and Combat Infantryman Badge. After being honorably discharged from the Army in November 1945, Eng Shang Hon returned to Chicago and resumed working at the Golden Pheasant Restaurant. Utilizing the provisions of the 1945 War Brides Act, he filed paperwork to bring his wife (Hop Yee Wong) and daughter (Nora) to the United States from Hong Kong. The family was reunited in 1947, ten years after he first immigrated to America. In the ensuing decade, four more children were born in 1949 (David), 1950 (Ellen), 1952 (Norman), and 1958 (Betty). Eng Shang Hon and Hop Yee, together with their four American-born children, relocated from Chicago to Oakland, California in 1960. Recognizing the personal sacrifices made by their parents, all four American-born children fulfilled their parents’ lifelong dream by attending and graduating with degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Eng Shang Hon passed away in 1995.
Kenneth W. L. Young - Army
Kenneth Wah Leong Young was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 12, 1919, the second son of Wong Shee and Young Fong. He attended St. Louis High School and graduated when he was 16 years old and left Honolulu on a steamship to attend college in Chicago. He graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and in 1942 and he was offered a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the army. He turned it down and instead went to work for Belmar, an electronics firm in New Jersey. Six months later, he was in the Army. Kenneth served in the Army, 3rd Infantry Division, from June 3, 1943 to November 18, 1945. His rank was Technician 4th Grade in Battery D, 216 AA Gun Battalion. As a member of the famed 3rd division, known as the Rock of the Marne from World War I days, he was entitled to wear the Aiguillette, a braid loop about the shoulder, of the French decoration, fourraegere de Croix de Guerre. The French decoration is a unit award similar to the Presidential Unit Citation. Young also received the Presidential Unit citation. With the 3rd division, he served on the beachhead at Anzio and through the Naples to Foggia, Rome to Arno, southern France, the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns. He wore an arrowhead for the Anzio beachhead landing and five battle stars as well as the Purple Heart, Victory ribbon and the Combat Infantrymen's badge.
Edward Kong - Army
Edward Kong grew up mostly in Phoenix, Arizona and in San Francisco, California. When WWII broke out, like many Chinese Americans, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. During his time in WWII he was with the 14thArmored Division “Liberators” and the 45thInfantry Division “Thunderbirds.” While he was basically an infantryman he was also assigned as an aerial observer flying in small, unarmed and unarmored observation planes. This led to him being assigned to an aviation unit with ties to the Army Air Force. He received a Bronze Star for his service in WWII. After the war ended, he wanted to continue to serve as a reservist but there was no reserve organization for Army members with an aviation background or assigned to the AAF so he signed on as a U.S. Navy reservist as they had a naval aviation component. During the Korean War he was activated and assigned to carrier duty and served on the U.S.S. Princeton and the U.S.S. Bon Homme Richard. Edward Kong married and raised three children, and as a civilian employee of the U.S. Navy at Alameda Naval Air Station he was sent to Southeast Asia / Guam during the Vietnam War. He was buried in Colma, California, with military honors.